PLANT PROFILE

 

NAME: Yucca

LATIN NAME / FAMILY:  Yucca filamentosa / Asparagaceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  Adam's needle, Desert Candle, Needle Palm, St. Peter's Palm, Spanish Bayonet

CONDITIONS: sun-partial shade
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

       

Stalk/Stem

no blossoms

 

BOIL

Summer

Buds

       

Flowers

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

bitter

BOIL

Summer

Fruits

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520no seeds

 

 

Summer

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

 

ROAST

Summer

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

 

 

 

 

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION:

 

COMMENT:  "Fruits are far better roasted until tender. Scrape out the inside and separate from the seeds. The pulp, sweetened, can be use for pies or boil dry to a paste, dry in oven as a sheet. Edible as is or mix with other food. The seeds can be roasted (375F) until dry, grind roughly, boil as a vegetable until tender. Young short flower stalks long before they blossom are also edible. Cut into sections, boil 30 minutes in plenty of water, peel. You can also peel (stalk) first.”(2)

 

CAUTION: Be careful, because there is confusion with this plant and its spelling. Yuca from Central and South America have edible roots, not Yucca from temperate zones. “Flower petals, raw or cooked though raw they usually give me a stomach ache, at best throat ache.  Try your raw blossoms carefully. Try one — ONE — petal, not only blossom, one petal and wait 20 minutes. See if you throat feels dry or bitter. If so these flowers should be cooked, I recommend boiling. The young fruits raw or cooked, but they are very bitter raw, read another throat/stomach ache."(2)

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  Poultice;  Salve. Medicinal Parts: Leaves and roots of non-flowering plants. A poultice made from the roots is used in the treatment of sores, skin diseases and sprains. Liver and gallbladder disorders.(1)

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  Yuca

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES: Brush;  Fibre;  Paper;  Soap… “The roots contain saponins. Whilst saponins are quite toxic to people, they are poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass straight through. They are also destroyed by prolonged heat, such as slow baking in an oven. Saponins are found in many common foods such as beans. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.”(1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Yucca+filamentosa
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/?s=yucca
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_filamentosa
  4. http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/yucca.html  (good photos)